ACM SIGHPC Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

Frequently Asked Questions

When will the winners be notified? What about non-winners?

Each nominator will be contacted with the results during June of award year. It will be their responsibility to inform the nominees and/or endorsers of the outcome. Note that SIGHPC only contacts nominators; students should request status information from the advisor.

Does "xxx" count as HPC?  

HPC is defined here. Our interpretation is very broad and meant to reflect the diversity of our field. The award committee is the sole arbiter of what is or is not an appropriate topic.

Is there any restriction on the student's field of study?

There are no restrictions on the student's field of study. However this award recognizes research that advances the theory or practice of HPC as a discipline; it does not recognize the application of HPC to a specific disciplinary area. So a new parallel math library would be an appropriate topic, while writing a new application that uses existing HPC tools and hardware in a new way in a specific discipline is not appropriate.

What are the membership requirements for the nominator, endorser(s), and the student?  

There are no membership requirements for the candidate, endorser(s), or the nominator. Remember that neither officers of ACM nor members of the selection committee for this award can nominate or endorse nominations. 

Can the nominator also be an endorser?  

No. The nominator must be the student's advisor or a member of the student’s doctoral dissertation committee, while an endorser must be someone else who knows the student's work well.

What is the limit on nominations from a single department?

The nominator must have coordinated with the head of the academic department that granted (or will grant) the student's degree to ensure only one dissertation from that department is being nominated. The departments of the nominator or an endorser is not relevant to this limit.

Does the department limitation apply to nominators or to the candidate? 

The restriction is that only one (1) nomination may be submitted by the department from which the student received (or will receive) their diploma. There is no limitation on the activity of nominators, provided they meet all the requirements of nominators for each student nominated.

I'm a nominator, how do I get started with my nomination?

Nominators may begin the nomination process by completing the online form, linked from the How to Nominate page.

I'm a nominator and I've lost the URL I was supposed to give the candidate.  

If you've lost the candidate form URL please send a request for this information to

How do my endorsers provide their endorsements?  

Endorsers should email their endorsement letters, 1 page maximum, to You might wish to suggest the cc you so that you know they have completed their part of the nomination process. Remember that each application must have a minimum of one (1) endorsement, and may have up to three (3) endorsements.

My candidate (or endorser) didn't complete their part of the process before the endorsement. Can we have an extension?  

By ACM policy, no extensions will be granted for late materials. No exceptions.

Will there be feedback if the nomination is unsuccessful?  

This is an award, not a submission-and-review process. ACM's policy is that no individual feedback can be given to award nominators, since it might give them an unfair advantage.

What if my question isn't listed here? 

If you're a student, discuss your concerns with your advisor or nominator. Faculty often know the answers from dealing with research proposals or fellowships or will be able to find out by looking at the website (nomination websites can be hard for students to interpret correctly). If there's still a question, we invite advisors to contact us directly at